Judy Robertson - iFitQuest: an iPhone game to encourage school kids to take exercise

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Judy Robertson's presentation at the Computing At School Scotland conference 2012

Dr Robertson’s main area of interest is in the development of interactive learning environments, particularly game based learning. She led an EPSRC funded project to study the creative process of computer game design and develop a learning environment to support learners in this design task (www.adventureauthor.
org). This led to a follow-up project (called Making Games in Schools) to disseminate the findings to school teachers.

Her previous projects include Ghostwriter, a virtual role-play environment for children, and StoryStation, an intelligent tutoring system which gives children feedback on their story writing skills.

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  •  1.35pm – 2.20pm. 45 minutesSeminar title: iFitQuest: an iPhone game to encourage school kids to take exerciseSeminar definition from organisers: it provides an overview of an area of Computing relevant to most of the delegates attending.Room set up for max 16 people Seminar description: The Curriculum for Excellence values interdisciplinary work, but is it possible to combine the geeky-ness of computing with the sporty-ness of PE? Our iFitQuest project aims to harness the motivating aspects of computer games to encourage children to get off the sofa and take more physical activity. It's a location based game on the iPhone which involves children running around muddy football fields being pursued by virtual wolves. But do exergames work? Is there a novelty effect? What's the best way to design them with input from kids? Come along and hear about our findings so far. (This project is in collaboration with Andrew MacVean, a PhD student at Heriot-Watt University.)  Bio: Dr Judy RobertsonDr Robertson is a Senior Lecturer at Heriot-Watt University and Programme Director for the undergraduate Computer Science and Software Engineering degrees. Dr Robertson's main area of interest is in the development of interactive learning environments, particularly game based learning. She led an EPSRC funded project to study the creative process of computer game design and develop a learning environment to support learners in this design task (www.adventureauthor.org). This led to a follow-up project (called Making Games in Schools) to disseminate the findings of this project to school teachers. Her previous projects include Ghostwriter, a virtual role-play environment for children, and StoryStation, an intelligent tutoring system which gives children feedback on their story writing skills.
  • Make the point that it is human computer interaction, which is a huge part of CS. Actually more usually referred to as UX or interaction design now. Can make good livings from being a UX designer
  • Ask audience what they think about the first question
  • Judy Robertson - iFitQuest: an iPhone game to encourage school kids to take exercise

    1. 1. iFitQuest: an iPhone game toencourage school kids to takeexerciseJudy RobertsonAndrew Macvean
    2. 2. What are exergamesanyway? Exercise games, aim to facilitate and encourage physical activity. Combine the motivating and enjoyable nature of video games, with the health benefits of physical exercise.
    3. 3. Why are exergamesinteresting for Computingteachers? It’s a great example of human computer interaction – novel input devices From CfE Technologies “develop an understanding of the role and impact of technologies in changing and influencing societies” From new Higher documentation “develop awareness of current trends in computing technologies and their impact in transforming and influencing our environment and society” Related to NQ 4 Computing Science: Mobile App Development
    4. 4. Questions Do exergames work? Is there a novelty effect? Whats the best way to design them with input from kids?
    5. 5. Do exergames work? The jury is still out... Studies suggest that they promote light to moderate exercise, and it’s better if they include lower limb exercises as well as upper body But there is a need for studies over a longer time period
    6. 6. Is there a novelty effect? Yip! There are only a few longer term studies so far with enough participants Studies with pedometer games such as American Horse Power Challenge show activity plateau after four week period But could clever game design get around this?
    7. 7. What’s the best way todesign them with kids? User centred design/ participatory design which stakeholders (kids and PE teachers)
    8. 8. Designing a location based exergame with teenagersIFITQUEST
    9. 9. iFitQuest A location-aware exergame played out in the real world using an iPhone and GPS / Compass technology Players must physically move in the real world in order to control their on screen avatar. By placing objects, landmarks and NPCs virtually within a players vicinity, they can be encourage into walking / running. Suite of 8 mini-games, the player has autonomy on which game to play as well as how the difficulty level is set.
    10. 10. IFitQuest
    11. 11. iFitQuest Evaluation Two studies: Firhill High School – 14 x14- 15 year olds, PE class, 20 mins per session for 4 weeks Granton Primary School- 12 x 11-12 year olds, released from class time, 13 x 25 mins sessions over 7 weeks (video)
    12. 12. Did iFitQuest make the kidstake physical activity? Yes PE teacher: class worked “as hard, if not more so” than her average P.E. lessons Kids’ average speed during game translates to “moderate to vigorous” exercise according to NHS guidelines Data from accelerometers shows that over a session kids get a mixture of light/moderate/vigorous activity depending on the game
    13. 13. Did the kids like it? Andy to fill in quotes + avg enjoyment scores
    14. 14. Did the novelty wear off? At Firhill, we didn’t see this But the Granton PS kids were beginning to lose interest at the end We think we can improve this on another version of the game, by including a wider range of games and tailoring goals to individual kids
    15. 15. What we need to do next Develop an adaptive game, based on player’s past performance Conduct studies with larger numbers of pupils over even longer time scales We have a funding proposal under review – fingers crossed!
    16. 16. EXERGAMES STUFF YOUCOULD DO IN SCHOOL
    17. 17. Design an exergame withyour class Ask them to design the game play and user interface for a Kinect or phone game for exercise If you’re feeling brave, trying implementing them! (Ask Susan Stephens from Firhill about her work with iPhone dev) (TCH 3-09a Using appropriate software, I can work individually or collaboratively to design and implement a game, animation or other application.)
    18. 18. Work with your PEdepartment to evaluate an offthe shelf game Teach your class HCI in an interdisciplinary way (From new Higher: “investigating and evaluating the legal, environmental, economic, and social impact of contemporary computing technologies”) (TCH 4-14b: I can apply skills of critical thinking when evaluating the quality and effectiveness of my own or others’ products or systems.) Get a Kinect or Wii Fit and run a user evaluation Get the PE teachers to help in measuring physical activity (e.g. pulse, self ratings of effort)
    19. 19. Try out iFitQuest with yourclass We will lend you 10 iPhones for up to 6 weeks to run a project (we’d like for some research data back) You’ll need access to a football pitch or playing field for this (HWB 2-22a / HWB 3-22a I practise, consolidate and refine my skills to improve my performance. I am developing and sustaining my levels of fitness.)
    20. 20. Contact info Email us if you want to try iFitQuest, or want to discuss ideas for classes www.judyrobertson.typepad.com Judy.Robertson@hw.ac.uk @JudyRobertsonUK http://www.macs.hw.ac.uk/~apm8/University_Site/ apm8@hw.ac.uk @andrewmacvean

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